Sometimes I feel ashamed of my status as a blogger.

I’m not proud to admit that—I really do love blogging. But it’s hard to stand up in the real world and say those words: “I’m a blogger.” It’s hard to talk about the fact that you put yourself, your life, out there for anyone and everyone to read. Hard to explain to people that you regularly spill your guts on the Internet.

Fellow bloggers, ya feel me?

So why do it, then? Why show up day after day if I can barely get the words about what I do out when I’m face to face with a real person?

Because, I know my story is important. It has value. And yours does, too.

Think about it: throughout history, the stories of ordinary individuals have rocked the world. Anne Frank and Helene Berr wrote diaries that revealed a side of WWII we might otherwise have never known. Because they wrote, we get to experience what they did, see what they saw. Countless lives and hearts have been impacted because they valued their own stories.

I think that’s something we’re not teaching ourselves or our children well enough these days. We need to hear it, say it, believe it: Your story is important. You don’t have to live a life of adventure, prominence, fame, or fortune for your story to matter. It matters just the way it is.

I asked my grandma once if she would keep a journal. Just write down some of what happened to her, do the best she could. She told me it was too late, then changed the subject. Now she’s gone, and there’s no journal. I can’t tell you how badly I wish she’d valued her story more, wish she’d committed some of it to paper in whatever way she could. Her story had incredible value, but now it’s lost. Don’t let yours go the same way.

There are a few things I believe very strongly about journaling and memory keeping:

  1. Every story is important. Even if you are the only person ever changed by the sharing of your story, it’s immensely valuable.
  2. If you don’t share your story in some way—a journal, a blog, a photo album, notes on pieces of scrap paper—you’re cheating yourself, your descendants, and the world.
  3. Perfection is not a worthy goal. Just get it out however you can. Something, anything, is far better than nothing.
  4. It is never too late to start.
  5. Do it your way. Don’t try to conform to someone else’s ideals—own your style/approach.
  6. Be as honest as you can.
  7. Embrace the process over the product.

I guess you can sum all that up the same way Nike sums up its view on life: just do it.

If you’re sitting there thinking that all of this is nice, but it doesn’t apply to you, I’m telling you you’re wrong. I don’t care what you do for a living, what your talents are (or aren’t), how interesting you think you are (or aren’t), how busy you are, or what other excuses you can conjure up—you need to value your story. You need to recognize that it is important—that you are important—and create a record of it in whatever way feels right. Pull out a pen and paper, pick up a camera, grab a paint brush… just start. Share your story. You’ll be glad you did.

And you’ll probably be surprised by who else is glad, too.

Kenzie Swanson

Kenzie Swanson is the blogger behind Hello Neverland She’s also a wife, mom, Etsy shop owner, and avid journal writer. She likes her books printed on paper and her coffee hot. She’s shy and messy and can’t cook to save her life. Originally from Iowa, Kenzie has settled into life in Nebraska pretty well—she’s even embraced the crazy that is football Saturday in Lincoln (well, mostly). She spends her time working her day job, chasing her wee kiddo, and starting (and sometimes even finishing) crafty projects of all kinds.